Former Delco guard alleges racism at George W. Hill prison

Posted: March 28, 2013

A fired Delaware County corrections officer filed a complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging rampant racism and illegal conduct at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Glen Mills.

Victor McWilliams alleges in his nine-page complaint that the percentage of black corrections officers at the prison had plunged from about 90 percent in 2002 to less than 30 percent in 2012.

"This statistical anomaly cannot be ignored for an employer of this size," the complaint states. "It reflects a dramatic reduction of black corrections officers that is not commensurate with demographics of the available hiring pool. There is no apparent explanation to rebut the statistical conclusion that the downsizing of black corrections officers is the result of illegal discrimination."

The county-contracted operator of the prison is Community Education Centers, based in New Jersey.

"The company does not comment on pending litigation," spokesman Christopher Greeder said via e-mail.

Administrators at the prison in Thornton were unavailable for comment.

McWilliams said he was fired Jan. 30 for allegedly stealing $600 from a prisoner. McWilliams said the prison misrepresented the case as a ruse to fire him.

The complaint makes specific allegations involving people who are identifiable, though not named.

It alleges that the prison was essentially run by five or six "white commanders" who wield more influence than the wardens, who come and go, and that the commanders "are the source of the discrimination problems."

McWilliams also alleges that there are racially motivated beatings of black prisoners. The complaint says white officers planted drugs on black prisoners and extorted money from them.

It also alleges that white officers "freely use" racially derogatory epithets and racist images such as nooses to harass black officers.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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